Bilberry bumblebee (Bombus monticola)

Bilberry bumblebee (Bombus monticola).

 

Species distribution map from https://nbnatlas.org
Red: records 2000-present. Yellow: pre-2000 records.*

A particularly attractive bumblebee, with bright yellow bands on the thorax and a rich orange-red tail covering around two-thirds of the abdomen. A localised and declining species, found almost exclusively on moorland in association with stands of Bilberry. No records from the south-east.

Bilberry bumblebees. Photo credit: Ian Fozzard (left), Keith Broomfield (right).

The Early bumblebee (Bombus pratorum), Scottish Isles orange-tailed form of the Heath bumblebee (Bombus jonellus), and males of the Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) have the same red tail and yellow-black-yellow thorax of the Bilberry bumblebee, but only this species has the red tail extending over more than 50% of the abdomen.

For more photos visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/63075200@N07/sets/72157631521250951/
For more detailed information visit: http://www.bwars.com/index.php?q=bee/apidae/bombus-monticola

* This map displays the data currently publically available on the NBN Atlas website at http://www.nbnatlas.org. Data have been contributed by a range of organisations: see here for the full list.  Please note that records from the national recording body (BWARS) are not yet available on the NBN so this map may appear incomplete.

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